How serious is the problem with gambling in teens? The issue with “problem gambling” is that it is often believed to be a problem plaguing adults, and not enough people are paying attention to the teen gambling problem.
So How Serious is this Problem? – OASAS, the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, conducted a gambling behaviors survey. This survey allowed for some excellent insight into the adolescent gambling problem in the state, essentially providing an excellent snapshot of the nation’s situation. The statistics produced by this survey were startling, showing that the teenage gambling problem is more serious than once imagined.
Teenage Gambling Statistics
According to statistics from a study published by Choosehelp.com among students from the grades 7 to 12 aged 12 to 18:
- 72 percent of responders had gambled once or more within a period of 12 months of the survey. 34 percent of responders had gambled within the past 30 days, and 12 percent of those responders had gambled at least four times within the past month.
- The most common form of reported gambling involved playing the lottery, with 43 percent of responders claiming that they preferred it. More than 39 percent of responders claimed they were betting on cards, 30 percent claimed to be betting on sports and 30 percent were betting on skill games such as snooker and pool.
- 28 percent of students who admitted to having a substance abuse problem were also struggling with a gambling addiction. The risk here is that the two can exacerbate one another. An additional 17 percent of responders were at a risk for developing a gambling problem beyond casual use.
- Of all the students who were surveyed, a startling 10 percent met all the criteria for either having problem gambling or pathological gambling. An additional 10 percent were classified as being at risk for problem gambling.
- Further studies showed that young adults aged between 18 and 24 were dealing with problem gambling at a rate that doubled the problem gambling rate for older adults. What this shows is that problem gambling at a younger age is a much more serious or more prevalent problem than gambling in older adults.
In 2005, the Harvard School of Public Health released a survey in conjunction with the Annenberg Public Policy Center. This survey indicates that there was a nearly 600 percent increase in gambling use in post-secondary schools between the years 2001 and 2005 In 2005, more than 15 percent of students were engaging in gambling. Many of these students are over the age of 21, but these statistics are reflected in younger generations as well. This may indicate that the problem with gambling, which is beginning in the teen years, only becomes worse for young adults who have access to gambling channels.
Gambling is a little hard for most teens to participate in, because people under the age of 18 are not allowed into land-based casinos, though there are teens who do manage to sneak in and gamble even when they are not legally permitted to do so. This is a problem all on its own since it means that the teens are participating in illegal activities in order to get “a fix.” Another way that teens can gamble, however, is through the Internet. There is little available to stop a teenager from placing a bet through an Internet casino, provided that they have a credit card with which to complete transactions.
Internet gambling is just as dangerous, if not more so, for teenagers who are developing a problem. The wide availability of gambling opportunities online makes it possible for teens to participate in risky behavior where they are not meant to. Statistics show that teens who engage in gambling are creating a much greater likelihood that they will become addicted as adults, and gambling addiction is a serious problem worldwide.
Gambling is a serious problem, and is especially worth looking at when it comes to teens. Teens who are already gambling now are in danger of becoming seriously addicted by the time they reach adulthood. What this means is that now is the time to get help for a gambling problem, no matter how small or large the problem seems to be. The right addiction treatment program is going to give you the answers that you seek if you or someone you love is struggling with a gambling abuse problem.